By Hussam Sidani, Regional Vice President, Middle East & Turkey at Cybereason
Getting in front of a threat by adopting a prevention-first strategy for early detection will allow organizations to stop disruptive attacks before they can cause damage. Preventing attacks from being successful is not just possible, it is much more cost-effective than remediation after the fact — you just need the right tools.
To stay ahead of today’s advanced threats, organizations are adopting Extended Detection and Response (XDR) solutions powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) that allow them not only automate detection and remediation of cyberattacks at scale, but also to detect a ransomware at the earliest stages of attack. So, what is XDR?
XDR is a proactive security approach that analyzes telemetry across multiple security layers — email, server, cloud, endpoint, network and identity–and then correlates that data to make one unified security assessment that takes in the whole ecosystem into account.
XDR automates event correlations across multiple security layers so what you get is a security view in-context, instead of a siloed view of just one element of an attack progression. By doing this, XDR combines intelligence from disparate assets and makes a complex security stack easier to action upon for security teams for increased efficacy and efficiency.
To adopt a proactive approach to security and defend against those “never before seen” threats and disrupt them earlier in the attack sequence, it is essential to understand and respond faster to attacks. XDR solutions provide the necessary features to do so.
XDR solutions expand on Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) strategies, but go beyond the endpoint to provide visibility into the cloud, across your network, application suites, user identities and more. With XDR, you aren’t just getting a flood of uncorrelated alerts looking at tiny snapshots of a malicious operation at a particular point in time.
XDR delivers a holistic view of the entire attack chain across all impacted assets so precious time is not lost to endless triage and investigation cycles, a good portion of which end up being false positives.
So, you have a lot of visibility into your network and you know it because you have a ton of security alerts coming in — great, but that’s almost worse than having none if they lack the context and correlations required to really understand the scope of an attack.
An XDR solution will make sense of the flood of uncorrelated alerts and provide context and color from the additional telemetry sources associated with the detections, “[automating] root cause analysis to show a clear timeline and path of a threat.” This allows analysts to see the entirety of the malicious operation, or MalOp™, and turn all that “alert data” into actionable intelligence.
Having full visibility across the entire MalOp allows security operations to move from a reactive alert-centric posture to a proactive operation-centric approach that automatically anticipates and blocks an attacker’s next likely move. With predictive response capabilities, an XDR solution reduces Mean Time to Detect (MTTD) and Mean Time to Respond (MTTR), reducing attacker dwell time from months to minutes.
An AI-driven XDR solution enables organizations to embrace an operation-centric approach to security that delivers the visibility required to be confident in their security posture across all network assets and the automated responses required to halt attack progressions at the earliest stages.
Here’s (just) four good reasons to implement an AI-driven XDR solution today:
Maximizing Integrations Across the Security Stack: XDR saves time and effort by automating the delivery of actionable, context-rich intelligence from telemetry ingested across the entire security stack without requiring analysts to do the heavy lifting required to triage every alert generated. Analysts can quickly understand the earliest signs of compromise and end malicious operations faster through native integrations with email, productivity suites, identity and access management, and cloud deployments. This is the power of the “X” in XDR.
Detecting All of an Attack: The correlative power of XDR allows security teams to adopt an operation-centric approach to detection by revealing the entire MalOpTM (malicious operation) from root cause across every affected device, system, and user. With XDR, analysts can focus on ending attacks in progress rather than spending valuable time trying to manually piece together the attacker’s actions and activities by sorting through an unorganized and uncorrelated mass of alerts generated by disparate security tools, each designed only to reveal an isolated aspect of the entire attack. This is the power of the “D” in XDR.
Predictive Automated Response: Understanding the full intent of an attacker’s behaviors and how they are related across the different elements of an organization’s network through an operation-centric approach means analysts are empowered to predictively anticipate the attacker’s likely next moves and preemptively block the attack progression with automated or guided remediation, depending on the security policies in place. Only an operation-centric approach can reduce attacker dwell time from months to minutes, which is the power of the “R” in XDR.
Proactive Threat Hunting: Finally, XDR enables organizations to engage in proactive threat hunting. This activity is vital as it allows organizations to search for suspicious chains of behavior that can surface attacks sooner and minimize the damage that those operations might cause. With XDR, security teams can pivot between events and hunt for threats without the need to craft complex queries. They can also incorporate lessons learned from successful hunts into custom detection rules and logic for future threat hunting engagements based on an operation-centric approach. This is the power of unifying all three aspects of XDR in one solution.
In addition, an AI-driven XDR solution should provide Defenders with the ability to predict, detect and respond to cyberattacks across the entire enterprise, including endpoints, networks, identities, cloud, application workspaces, and more.
With a strong XDR solution, we, the defenders, can regain the upper hand with the ability to detect, correlate and stop attacks in real-time, even across complex, ever-evolving enterprise environments. XDR promises an experience focused on security value — better detection, easier investigation, faster response. In order to defeat an adversary that can weave between data silos and understands detection alerts, it requires an operation-centric approach. Implementing an XDR solution means faster detection, which means faster remediation, thereby ending attacks before they become breach events.